In response to NoMorePensionLooting's comment:
Watching the SI cd's of each of the Patriot's Super Bowl wins this week I was reminded how much the running game mattered, really mattered in those 3 SB seasons. Antowain Smith for the season and into the playoffs was a tough runner, and tough inside the 20. The first SB ring he had a strong hand in. And the second ring he was OK during the regular season but played very strong thru the playoffs. And Corey Dillion, was HUGE for us with 1600+ yards and without a doubt was largely responsible for ring number 3. Watching his highlights it's easy to say he was the Man...period.
Watching these cds I was thinking how nice it would be to be able to run the ball like that again......
"We"? I have been banned from here pretty much pining and begging for it for years. We've had excuse after excuse as to why we are scared to commit to it, but we used to commit to it before when Weis was here.
I haven't forgotten it. I know it's why we lost the last 2 SBs, and it wasn't because of the name on the jersey on the back at the RB position either. If our O Line isn't asked or told what the gameplan will be, with regards to a commitment to it, where every week it's shotgun spread based gameplans, it's a lot to ask for an O Line to just flip a switch against better defenses, especially when we sub the RB.
We never subbed for Anotwain Smith or Dillon unless we weren't running it well and thought a shotgun spread or pass first kind of offense with Faulk would be a better move during a game.
"I prefer the shotgun." - T. Brady
And, before anyone attacks me, RKrap, just yesterday confirmed this fact with his "colleague" saying that it's true.
I don't know WHO, RKrap is talking about, but it's clearly somene who has some inside knowledge into organization. Might be Bruschi since Bruschi works at ESPN as well.
All that said, it's hard to ignore a 1500 yard rusher like Ridley, but the flaw in last year's playoff loss was subbing Woodhead or Vereen in so early in the game before the run really was established.
In any game vs a known good or great D, I would not sub the lead back until a run game was established. I don't care if it takes into the early 3rd qtr to do it, just get it done. Target all weaponry in the passing game when you pass, and establish a run.
It's hard to tell who will field a good or great D early in a season, so really by October, you should be able to tell which games on your schedule you'll need that running game to help you in second halves.
You've been banned for being a Richard, not for wishing we utilized the run game.